The 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) wrapped up on November 7 with positive feedback from exhibitors about buyer enthusiasm for the products on display and the enhanced show experience.
“Simply put, our sales results at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show were amazing,” said Chuck Cashman, chief revenue officer of MarineMax, one of the show’s largest exhibitors. “Quality and innovation continue to be extremely important in driving new boat sales. Additionally, our entry into charter facilitated several larger boat sales. All of our core brands experienced nothing short of excellent results. Overall, the dollars sold at the show were very close to an all-time record.”
Attendance at the five-day show was up 5 percent compared to the 2015 event. Among all segments of boats on display, the largest increase was boats in-water under 100 feet in length, which grew 2.9 percent over last year.
“It’s encouraging to see the most growth in the middle of the market, as this represents the majority of boat buyers and suggests that overall boat sales are strong again,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that manages and produces FLIBS for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. “Many exhibitors reported that they left the show with strong leads and sea trials scheduled in the coming weeks.”
In the superyacht sector, seven yachts larger than 200 feet were the biggest collection in this size category in the show’s history.
The show once again drew an international crowd of buyers, sellers and browsers to see the latest that the global boating industry has to offer and to do business in the “Yachting Capital of the World.”
G Marine represented eight boats at the show ranging in size from 43 to 110 feet from three European yacht brands, including Astilleros Astondoa from Spain, Fairline from Great Britain and Italian EVO Yachts. “When selling smaller boats, it is easier to close several deals at a show,” said CEO Alberto Galante .”When we have the right boat for the right customer, we can shake hands on a deal. The show offers us the opportunity to present our builders’ capabilities in design and execution with a wide range of materials and technology.”
In addition to offering boats for every budget, the 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries presented all types of marine products and accessories, from high-tech electronics to marine art and personal water toys, in total valued at more than $4 billion.
“We sold a tremendous amount of inventory at the show to customers from all over the Americas,” said Nils Kah, CEO of SEABOB, the luxury water toy that was displayed on many yachts at the show and at daily demonstrations at the show’s AquaZone outside the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
Each year, show organizers improve upon the previous event. This year’s enhancements included redesigned exhibition space, elevated food and beverage offerings, an exclusive VIP experience and boat handling classes presented by Carefree Boat Club, among other additions.
Mark your calendars, the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is scheduled for Nov 2-6, 2017.